20 Vancouver Tourist Attractions – A Must See and Do List!
2010 Winter Olympics reintroduced Vancouver to the outside world as one of the premier travel destination for its beaches, sprawling parks, snowy peaks setting the backstage for a nearly perfect vacation. Vancouver is a relatively young metropolis, not even 200 years old, offering a wealth of Vancouver tourist attractions. Many think that Vancouver landmarks truly came in tourists’ spotlight back in 1986 when city hosted Expo 86 World Fair. Ever since then the hordes of tourists have never stopped arriving to see one of the best places to visit in Canada.
If you are planning a Vancouver vacation and not sure what to see, please refer below for our list of top Vancouver attractions and best things to do in Vancouver Canada.
1. Capilano Suspension Bridge – one of the most mind boggling and nerve tickling Vancouver tourist attractions presents the highest and longest Suspension Bridge in the world stretched over the Capilano Canyon. Walk across the swaying bridge positioned 70 meters over the Canyon and rainforest opening unforgettable views.
2. Vancouver Aquarium – Located at the gorgeous Stanley Park coast facing the Vancouver Harbor, the Aquarium draws millions of annual visitors to see its 9000 marine creatures such as dolphins, sharks, sting rays, jelly fish and more.
3. Stanley Park – One of the best Vancouver tourist attractions, this urban park sprawls across 400 hectares offering plenty of attractions, things to do and see. Among Stanley Park’s highlights one can note are the Miniature Train, Stanley Park Pitch and Putt golf course, a heated outdoor swimming pool and a gorgeous seafront promenade.
4. Seawall Promenade – Stretching 5.5 miles along the English Bay Seawall Promenade is perhaps the idyllic seafront strip to stroll, rollerblade or bike while surrounded by beautiful Vancouver nature.
5. Gastown – Original birthplace of old Vancouver that got its name from a Yorkshire sailor (nicknamed Gassy) who opened the very first saloon here. Gastown is where charming Victorian style buildings meet hip urban lifestyle of Vancouver, a great place to dine, shop and relax hosting annual events like the Vancouver Jazz Festival and others.
6. Vancouver Lookout – Not for the faint at heart, the Vancouver Lookout opens stomach turning views of the city as you are ascending in a top to bottom glass elevator to the Lookout point perched at 555 feet over the street level to see panoramic views of Vancouver.
7. University of British Columbia – Rated among the top 30 world’s educational establishments geared towards post graduate students, University of BC is worth your time seeing. Here you will not see your average college campus, on the contrary, a sprawling and drowning in the forest vegetation campus surrounded by beaches, parks and gardens. Lovely museums, art galleries and even Museum of Anthropology are also in the vicinity.
8. Museum of Anthropology – The finest artifacts devoted to the First Nations inhabitants are at the centerstage of the Museum. But the museum goes beyond the heritage of the First Nation and also covers the history of the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia and Pacific Region. Haida Village outside the Museum is perhaps the gem among Vancouver tourist attractions recreating a traditional First Nations settlement with totem poles, artifacts and priceless objects.
9. Chinatown – Almost every major city in North America has its own Chinatown, and Vancouver is no exception. An Asian cultural conglomerate, Vancouver Chinatown is the largest one in Canada, surrounded by Gastown and Downtown districts. Due to the dense population of Chinese immigrants residing in the area, the place is sometimes nicknamed as Hongcouver. Great place to eat tasty Asian dishes and shop for lucky charms and inexpensive souvenirs.
10. Fort Langley Historic Site – The historical fortress that is deeply enrooted with Canadian history, where the British Columbia was first pronounced in 1858. History made fun here with costume performances of the historical battle, workshops and gold panning area, kids are guaranteed to have fun.
11. Greater Vancouver Zoo – Welcome to the greatest Zoo in Canada where you can meet over 400 animals and participate in fun tours and adventures. Watch how wild cats are fed, pat reptiles, get onboard a Safari Mini Train and so much more.
12. Canada Place – Dramatic in architecture and symbolism, Canada’s own Performance Arts Halls is one of the most recognized Vancouver tourist attractions. Unsurpassed in beauty sights of the Ocean and Mountains will surround you if you step out to the pier leading to the waterfront.
13. Vancouver Art Gallery – The Gallery showcases over 10,000 works of various artists like Isaac van Ostade, Francisco de Goya, Jan Goyen and Canadian artist Emily Carr, Russian–French Marc Chagall and many others.
14. British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame – Truly a must see attraction for sports enthusiasts to experience the best British Columbia athletes throughout its history, learn many interesting facts about Canada’s most popular sports, see various displays and memorabilia devoted to this topic.
15. Granville Island – Premier shopping destination in Vancouver, the Granville Island is the place to be offering beautiful marina, lush parks and, most importantly, the Public Market Experience. The best place to shop for unique arts and crafts, one of a kind knick knacks and delicious original cheeses, chocolates, baked goods and fresh produce. To experience the Granville Island at its fullest, consider booking a tour that includes food tastings from some of the best creations of artisan chefs and farmers.
16. Deep Cove – Located within mere 20 minute ride from downtown busy scene, Deep Cove is a perfect outdoor retreat framed with mountains, picturesque bay and forest. Cozy marina is a great starting point for fun activities like kayaking, sailing, fishing and biking.
17. Science World – One of the super kid friendly Vancouver’s city attraction with a plethora of hands on educational exhibits, natural history displays and IMAX theater showings.
18. Gulf of Georgia Cannery – Historical salmon cannery operation that has been in business since 1894 offers visitors’ tours daily. Take a look at the real canning line, learn from films and interactive displays about the history of fishing in British Columbia and buy a few salmon themed souvenirs when you head home.
19. Grouse Mountain – A popular outdoor destination for Canadians and foreign visitors alike seeking for an ideal year round escape. In winter you can snowboard or ski, during the rest of the season you can enjoy hiking, climbing and zip lining. But the most breathtaking adventure is definitely taking the Grouse Mountain Skyride providing perfect aerial tours of the surrounding area.
20. The Victorian Hotel – For visitors who value history and elegance above all and love the idea of staying in historical Vancouver Canada hotels, the Victorian Hotel might just be the destination in itself. This historical hotel that has been around since 1898 is an attraction in itself by being renovated in Victorian era style with suites combining modern day luxuries with old style charm overlooking the downtown Vancouver scene.